Thursday, September 20, 2007

Idle Thoughts or Idol Thoughts?

A little over the top? Maybe. Be warned, this post is 100% spiritual and is not meant to preach or convert. It is simply my thoughts of what is going on in my own life.

A couple of weeks ago, I was walking past the little TV room where Charlotte and Zachary were watching Nickelodeon. I believe SpongeBob SquarePants was on. The channel was playing a clip of a new show they were promoting and this is what I heard a very young girl's voice saying, "He is SO hot, I could cook a pancake on him!" Now I am not a complete prude, but come on! It is a children's station in the middle of the day..11:30 am to be exact. Well I decided right then that the kids would no longer be watching television as I did not want their minds filled with that content! Wholesome family videos are in abundance here along with educational shows on the free spot our cable has. We watch "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader" every week and it has actually been nice that the kids are doing other activities. Little Charlotte has had a difficult time as she is very much a television lover.

Aren't I just the wonderful mother who looks to the ways of her household!! Not only do I keep our home in order, I watch out for the ways of their little spirits. My chest is puffed up with pride!

Then it deflates! My oldest son and my daughter in law proudly showed me their new cell phones and how they have a special, identifying ringer for everyone. "Listen Mom!" My ring tone was Amazing Grace!!!

NOT! It was the theme song to As The World Turns!!
I was shocked, embarrassed and actually hurt. (Not your fault is totally on me.) I had to take a hard look. I won't go into the long detail of my soul searching and communication with my God about this, but suffice it to say, I had an idol. Forget the fact that I named my dog after a character on the show, or the fact that 10, YES, 10 hours a week are sucked up with soaps (I watch 2), I am exposing myself and my children (they walk freely into the room as I watch) to worldly values. I have watched As The World Turns for almost 30 years and the other one, Guiding Light, for 15. That was really hard to "say". How do I know I have made this an idol in my life? And what is an idol/idolatry?

The Bible says idolatry is a work of the flesh and has it right up there with murder! (Galatians 5:19-21) Isn't an idol a false God? It can be, but the Bible describes idolatry as covetousness (Colossians 3:5) I could list a ton of verses concerning idolatry, and none of them have a good turn out for the idolater! Anything that you put before God is an idol. We have all done it, but when the veil is lifted and you can actually see the problem, that's when what you do, from that point on, matters. Back to "how" I know it is a major problem for me.When I realized how my kids saw me with that ring tone, I thought "I will just stop watching it!" Well let me tell you, I had a physical reaction to that thought! I mean Carly (whom I named my dog after) has a brain tumor and next week she will suffer from amnesia, all the while the love of her life and father of her child (I forget which of her 3 children is his) is planning to marry her arch enemy. I will miss it all! How do I know this is going to happen. From the CBS Soap magazine that I spend $4.00 every other week on. I figured that is a yard of quilt shop fabric a month (or $96 per year) to read what I am going to watch anyway because I have no self control and have to feed my flesh now!! THE VEIL IS LIFTED!

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18

I am going on the same TV rules as I set for my kids. Very limited in time, specific to content. Television, like anything else, can be a positive in our lives. We just need to make sure it does not become our life. I know Survivor is starting tonight. I have NEVER missed an episode since the day it aired. My kids know when it is "Survivor" night. Dad is at work, and Mom is NOT to be bothered unless there is blood or vomit involved, and even then try to hold off til commercial. The premise of the show is to win a million dollars by being the best at lying, cheating, and manipulating others around you. Ummm, I think I will have to skip Survivor for the first time ever. Does that mean if you watch Survivor or a soap opera I think you are a heathen sinner. No. That is not my judgement call. I am saying I have set up an idol for myself and I must tear it down in order to go from "glory to glory".
That is the goal I have set. To attain the Prize. In order to do that I need to "flee from idolatry" (1 Corinthians 10:14). What is the Prize?

I press toward the mark for the prize of the High Calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14

If I want to miss my high calling, I can find out what happens to Carly. I would rather get the prize! And will need to find a new ring tone for Mom!


Linda said...

Extremely well said Bren, and just so you know, I think it took a whole lot of courage for you to post this. I'm sure He's saying well done thou good and faithful servant.

Ila said...

Reward yourself! 10 found hours to quilt (or something else you like to do). It's how I quit watching TV. I occasionally like to watch a pbs show, and sometimes something on the history channel.

Our regional newspaper prints a soaps recap once a week. Check your paper to see if they do, as well. Then you don't have to give up any fabric $$!


dot said...

As The World Turns---- Did we all grow up on this soap? I have gotten sucked back into it during my recovrey and just decided yesterdat NO MORE!!! I know what you mean. I watch very little t.v., can't stand the sexual indicationa and how they use the Lords name in vain so often. Just keep it off and in a while you won't even notice or care and you will have so much more accomplished. Talk radio can fill the time and it is amazing how stupid people are. Just listen.

Karolee said...

Excellent post! My mother always watched "Days of Our Lives" and when I went away to college a group of us would watch "Days" during our lunch break. I also watched it during the first few years of married life with small children. Rarely missed an episode. And then we moved someplace where I couldn't get TV reception for that channel for a whole year! After moving to a different house and getting the channel I watched a few episodes and realized it was a stupid waste of time and quit. I haven't watched a soap opera for 12 years now. But that doesn't mean I'm not "hooked" on TV. I love watching 'Monk' and 'Psych' on Friday nights. I also have made sure that the TV is in an inconvient location in my home or I'll watch a lot of rerun episodes on TV Land all day. Sigh... There is always something isn't there?

Su Bee said...

You'll find your kids won't miss the TV too much. Our 5 grands who live next door (ages 7 - 16) have not had regular TV in 5 or 6 years, and Mom & Dad have supplied them with an extensive library of appropriate movies and shows on DVD.
Well done Bren! More ways you've blessed your family!

Winona said...

I have only been reading your blog for a couple of weeks, but want you to know that I am sure enjoying it. Today's post was so good. I used to watch General Hospital all the time back in the days of Luke and Laura. Then one day when dh came home from work, our 4 year old daughter told her dad all that Luke and Laura had done that day. I had never realized that she was even paying attention to the tv. What an eye-opener that was. I quit watching soaps. That was about 25 yrs ago. You can do it. Thank you for posting about this. It took courage.

Joni said...

I enjoyed reading the other comments! I watched soaps in college but never got hooked. Takes will power to do what you are doing. You go girl!

meggie said...

You know a bit about me Bren. But I do sooo agree about the things they put out there for kids. Why cant they just let the young ones be young, -& carefree. I would be incensed at the pancake thing too.

As to soaps... well they just never did appeal to me. And I dont watch things like Idol or Survivor either. And no, I am no saint!
Good for you, for striving so hard to be what you see as a better person. I think you are just fine!

Tamara said...

I want to congratulate you on making this decision. Your kids will grow up knowing that they do not have to conform to the way of the world. And your stronger than me about skipping Survivor.

Angie said...

Great blog! I noticed the flylady on the sidebar ... I like her too!

Promiseland said...

What wonderful news you posted there. It takes 21 days to change a habit so I will be in prayer for you for the coming month. I have gone the route you have and the blessings God has in store for you are so wonderful.
God Bless,
Melissa D. SC

Rose said...

Good for u, we lead by example (but do u have to miss Survivor??? lol) I gave up buying magazines (except the craft ones) ages ago, id usually pick them up while waiting to pay for groceries and then just throw them in....stay strong and true to urself.

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

I'm not a soap girl, it helps that i don't have TV in the studio, I can only watch DVDs.
My kids have a fairly strict lot of rules with TV that some people question but I would far prefer The Brady Bunch, Little House and I dream of Jeannie on DVD, or old musicals 6.30 pm shows discussing you know what and where!!! Grows them up far too fast. Remeber though with the things that you are giving up, that you are allowed to have down times in your busy day, there does need to be time for Mum! Tracey

teodo said...

Well Bren your decision is right.
Also in italy, during the day, TV is sometimes almost garbage

I like your new top's blog whit your son's rockes.

ciao ciao enjoy your weekend.

Guðrún said...

This post makes me think!

Jeanne said...

Rren, that was an excellent post! I applaud your decision to lead by example and strive for the greater reward. Thank you for sharing.

In Pursuit of His Call said...

Rootin' for you! Go Bren Go!!!